I started smoking at 16. No body forced me, no one offered it to me. I just thought it looked glamorous and it would make me look like an adult. Time passed and this trend became addictive. I started to smoke more at home and when I bought my first pack of cigarettes I felt that I was in the reign of adulthood.
Back then, I was a full-time ballet student and I was planning on making it my long-term career. Rehearsals were getting more arduous and I was getting out of breath more quickly. I smelled like an ashtray and had to constantly wash my hair, my teeth and my hands. Sure, pretty glamorous.
I have an early memory when my mom used to smoke in airplanes.The thought just makes me cringe. All that smoke trapped in an pressured aircraft. I tried to quit smoking 3 times and fell in this cycle for a long time.
Then I realized I had to be patient with myself. It doesn’t matter if you have to start over a thousand times. What it matters is that you are determined and have started in the first place.
1) Know what works for you.
I always did it cold-turkey. That doesn’t work for me. I am an obsessive-compulsive person and if I make a big change I tend to get anxious. So I took it one day at a time. Yes, like an addict.
2) Instead of no smoking at all, try decreasing the amount.
I smoked 30 cigarettes a day. I made sure to write it down. I started to count my cigarettes. For 1 month I limited myself to 20 cigarettes a day. For the next month 15, then each month I would subtract 5. When I reached the final number I smoked 3 a day for a week until my body started to need them less.
3) Dont worry about the weight.
The infamous quote: “I don’t want to stop smoking because I will gain some pounds”. Well how did you lose those pounds in the first place? You will get anxious but you have to get it together. Your mind is stronger than your urge.
4) Try some exercise to drain the anxiety.
I started doing yoga while I was “quitting”. It helped me focus on my health instead of smoking. I was more calm and more focused. I did notice that I was not getting out of breath while running.
5) Dont tell yourself “never again”.
This may sound a little controversial but has worked for me for 6 years. I don’t tell myself “I will never smoke again”. My mind simply does not process the “never again” fact. I just take it one day at a time. I tell myself in the morning “today I wont smoke, maybe tomorrow, but not today”. Yes, I do this everyday and I’m feeling wonderful.
You know what is really glamorous? White teeth, amazing breath and a healthy body.